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Killer hornets: this is how US authorities fight immigrant insects


They look like they are from another planet: When experts remove a nest of the Asian giant hornet, they have to protect themselves extremely well. See pictures of the US West Coast here.

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The small town of Blaine is located in the US state of Washington, directly on the border with Canada.

Usually it's pretty quiet there.

But at the weekend, a special unit was deployed near the town.

Insect experts in special clothing removed a nest of the Asian giant hornet from a tree.

This was to prevent the invasive species from gaining a foothold in the country.

Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

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The protective gear, in which the experts almost look like aliens, is extremely important.

Asian giant hornet stings can be fatal.

In Japan, it is said, around 40 people lose their lives each year.

Your body reacts to the poison of the animals with an allergic shock.

The giant hornets are not necessarily considered aggressive if they behave correctly - but they are if they want to defend their nest.

Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

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Here, insect expert Sven Spichiger from the Washington State Department of Agriculture shows some Asian giant hornets that the special team has fetched from the tree with a kind of giant vacuum cleaner.

In addition to the risk for stung people, the agency's use is primarily due to the risk to native bee species.

The hornets meet their sugar needs by attacking and killing honey bees, but also wasps and other hornets.

The aggressive attackers can wipe out entire bee colonies within a very short time.

Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

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Two lifeless specimens of the Asian giant hornet.

The specialty team had tracked down Blaine's nest by flossing mini transmitters to individual specimens.

These then revealed the location of the nest and made the use possible.

A nest in the nearby Canadian town of Nanaimo had already been removed last year.

Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

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The Asian giant hornet does not yet exist in Germany; it should not be confused with the Asian hornet that has immigrated in some places here.

This is considered to be much more harmless.

Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

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The Asian giant hornet hardly has any natural enemies, especially when they are new to areas.

In Asia, some birds like the European honey buzzard can eat the animals.

But this species does not exist in the USA or Canada.

In principle, it is also possible for rival peoples of the giant hornet to attack each other.

The US authorities did not want to let it come to that.

Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2020-10-26

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